Q. I have just recently come back to the Lord after being back slidden for approximately 15 years. Now I’m so hungry for the Lord, for His word, and for the fellowship of other Christians, so the Lord guided me to a church family where I can be filled, and for all His blessings, I’m very thankful, especially for His wonderful grace.
In the meantime, I struggle almost every single day, with my emotions, with doubt, feelings of unworthiness, trying to live out my faith by loving and living with unsaved family members, plus financial struggles – is this normal in the Christian walk, to have these kinds of battles? If so, according to Ephesians chapter 6, we are to be strong in the Lord….etc. and put on various pieces of spiritual armor. How do we do this, and is this done through prayer???? I need lots of help, and would like some answers.
A. Your struggles are caused by the enemy trying to get you off the path again. James 4:7 says that if you resist the devil, he’ll flee from you and this is what Ephesians 6 is all about. Each piece of the armor symbolizes something we do, and we must put on all the armor to be protected.
The belt of truth stands for God’s promises. It protects your “gut”, the core of your beliefs. He will never leave you and will never lose you (John 6:39-40). Even during the time you were “backslidden” He was with you. No one can take you out of His hands. (John 10:27-30)
The breastplate of righteousness protects your heart. God’s righteousness is imputed to you by faith. (Romans 3:21-22) No one is worthy, and so it has nothing to do with how we behave, it has to do with what we believe. Romans 10:9 says that if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
Having your feet fitted with the Gospel of Peace has to do with your “walk”. Phil. 4:4-7 tells us that to receive peace, we rejoice in all things. Nothing will cause the enemy more frustration than a continual attitude of gratitude. Ephesians 4:17-32 and all of Romans 12 tell us how to live as believers, but don’t turn them into laws. They’re expressions of gratitude that please the Lord and drive the enemy crazy.
A shield is movable and can be placed between us and the weapons of attack, where ever they come from. The shield of faith stands for our belief in the Lord’s power to defeat our enemies. We meet each attack with the belief that we’ve already achieved victory. The Lord said we’d have trials in this world, but to take heart because He’s overcome the world. (John 16:33)
A helmet protects our head, where our knowledge of God resides. 2 Cor. 10:3-5 tells us that we have the power to demolish every stronghold and every pretension that conflicts with our knowledge of God. We can take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ.
And the sword is our weapon with which we counter every attack. It represents our knowledge of God’s word. It’s what Jesus used to defeat the devil in the wilderness temptation. (Matt. 4:1-11)
Each of these items is helpful to us only to the extent that we study and understand God’s word. Having zeal for the Lord with out knowledge of His Word is like charging into battle without protection or weapon. No soldier would ever go into battle without all his armor. Neither should we.